The Author

Tim Ellis Holding His Novel The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives
The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis

Tim Darcy Ellis (BA BSc, MHSc) is a writer, business owner and formerly a professional archaeologist. His critically acclaimed debut, ‘The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives’ is a fast-paced and meticulously researched historical novel. Tim is passionate about bringing his love of history, archaeology and philosophy together: and to express it by writing great fiction.

As a child in his family home in Surrey, England, Tim spent hours thumbing through history books and encyclopedias. He became fascinated with the Tudors: Henry VIII and his six wives, the rise of the Renaissance, the power struggles between the court factions, driven by relentless ambition and religious ideology. Later, Tim majored in Medieval Archaeology at the University of York (1985-1988).

Tim worked for the Museum of London (1987-1991) as an archaeologist. He worked on the site of the Roman amphitheatre and on the extensive excavations on the bank’s of the old river Fleet, just beyond the original western Roman and Medieval city walls. Tim was also a tour guide at the British Museum’s Medieval galleries and worked on various rescue digs ahead of major gas pipelining in eastern England.

Having migrated to Australia in 2000, Tim gifted a Spanish friend a book, ‘The Disinherited: Exile and the Making of Spanish Culture (2008)’, by Henry Kamen. Before passing it on, he stumbled upon the incredible story of Juan Luis Vives. To his surprise, there were no films, no novels, and no recent biographies of this astonishing man and his life, and so Tim got to work. 

‘The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives’ was completed in 2020. The novel is a Tudor psychological thriller, written in the first person. It is ‘fact as fiction,’ and takes the form of an imagined diary discovered beneath the floors of a college in Bruges, Belgium. The backdrop is Vives’s tumultuous story in the years after he fled the Inquisition in Spain, his University positions in Paris, the Netherlands and Oxford, and his contentious visit to the court of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon in the 1520s.

‘The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives’ is the first part of Tim’s Sephardic Trilogy. The trilogy that explores the role of the key men and women whose life’s work was pivotal in enabling the official resettlement of the Jews in England – and her colonies – in the 1650s .

Tim is currently Managing Director and Principal Physiotherapist of Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness, Sydney. He qualified as a physiotherapist at the University of London and completed his master’s degree with honors in 2002 at The University of Sydney. Tim is chief writer of Excel Life magazine: writing and teaching extensively on health and wellness and specializing in the treatment of complex hip and pelvic pain.